LDN (Low Dose Naltrexone)
What is Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)?
Many patients have unique health needs off-the-shelf, manufactured medications cannot meet. For these patients, personalized medications – prescribed by licensed practitioners and prepared by trained, licensed pharmacists – often are the only solution.
LDN refers to daily doses of Naltrexone that are within 1 to 5 mg - a tenth of the typical FDA-approved treatment dosage. Studies have shown that naltrexone exhibits paradoxical properties such as analgesia and anti-inflammatory, or antioxidant effects via upregulation of endogenous opioids at lower doses.
What diseases are impacted by LDN?
- Autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and Lupus.
- CNS diseases such as Fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
- Certain Cancers.
What is typical dosing?
- Dosing is typically between 1.5 mg to 5 mg (capsules, suspension, cream) every evening between 9pm to 3 am. This causes a brief blockade of opioid receptors between 2 am and 4 am, which in turn produces endorphin production and up-regulation of the immune system.
- Oral LDN must be compounded in IR formulation only.
What are common side effects and contraindications?
One of the most exciting aspects of LDN is the low reported incidence of adverse side effects. Studies have shown no withdrawal symptoms when treatment is stopped due to its low dosage. In some cases, patients may report vivid dreams, nausea, or headaches. However, these decrease over time or dosage can be decreased if needed.
- Because LDN blocks opioid receptors, patients should not be on any opioid agonists such as narcotic pain medications.
- Full-dose naltrexone (50mg) carries a cautionary warning against its use in those with liver disease. This warning was placed because of adverse liver effects that were found in experiments involving 300mg dose daily. The smaller doses do not apparently produce impairment of liver function.
- Patients who have received organ transplants or are on immunosuppressive medications are cautioned against use of LDN since it may counteract the effect of those medications.
Where can I find LDN?
- Only compounding pharmacies would be able to compound LDN in such small and precise dosing.
- Central Drugs is able to offer all dosage forms (capsules, oral suspension, topical cream) of LDN at a low cost for patients.
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